Humble Sunny Leavenworth TR


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Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 19, 2015 - 09:00pm PT
But we had fun. It's April 18th and the North-West Coast (BC for Canadians) had been pretty dry and sunny recently. But work has been sub-optimal (other words edited out), and I haven't set hand to real rocksince early October. So:

Pick up Mark on a beautiful moring in Seattle:

There are worse destinations:

We were just going to top rope: But this looked so within my wheelhouse and easier than setting up a TR so I got my first lead of the year and in 6 months and it went OK.

We then setup top ropes on some other steeper and more challenging routes. I can't remember the name of the area, but it's early and towards the bottom of the canyon near Playground(?) rock. I'm not being coy, I'll come up with then name if pressed. We went there last fall and were creeped out and fled due to brown wasps disgorging from the cracks.

Pretty easy but gritty and rarely climbed routes did this to our out of shape hands (I know technique had all to do with it)

Then we speculated about doing Outer Space again and maybe a Gothic Basin rock trip. I'm achy but not injured, so life could be worse, but what I said about my job.

A long way from where I started
Apr 19, 2015 - 09:08pm PT
but what I said about my job.

At least you got out for a day, so count your blessings. In the last eight months I've been lucky to get a couple of hours for a bike ride or a bit of weeding in the garden.

I decided to go out for a walk a couple of minutes ago, but it's pushing 85 degrees and 100% humidity in Hong Kong right now, so I turned around and went straight back into the hotel, back to my room, and back to work.

Edit: And I hope the cat survived. (That last photo...)

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Apr 20, 2015 - 06:57am PT
if ever i found myself
wanted, i would find that

the one by the creek there.

it might be soon,
because i was swooning
this handsome gal at
the sin-bench the other

i thought that i was just
making fun conversation
and some awkward laughter,
for she was playfully engaged.

she: "i'm trying to wrap my
head around balance transfers.."

he: "you should wrap your mouth
around my biological transfer."

and etc.

after she got her buzz
smoothed out
she told me that she'd never
had someone come on to her
like me.

"your's was the most pleasant
and welcome attack that I've
ever enjoyed."

and the she left.
i'm certain that she
informed the heat
of my 'attack'

and now i'm on the run.

i was considering the sea.
but i ain't no sailor,
surely the waves would
upset me,
so instead i'll hike your river,

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Apr 20, 2015 - 07:35am PT
I miss visits to Leavenworth. In the 1970's & early 80's, we'd fill a car with gear & people & drive about 285 miles from Moscow, ID to Leavenworth for climbing. Good times! (haven't been back since moving to S. Idaho in 1983).

Good times------Except maybe for this trip over an ice-glazed log on our way up to Colchuck for a winter ascent of it's north face.

Apr 20, 2015 - 08:03am PT
Good going! It was a great weekend up here that's for sure. Alas, the garden claimed me. I did work on some climbing vegetables though...


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 20, 2015 - 08:18am PT
No such thing as a bad weekend in Leavenworth, Washington that is.

At first I thought yer first pic was at Midnight, but I'm relieved to see you're more sensible.
Next week you can go up there, eh? ;-)

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 21, 2015 - 08:26am PT
I'm honored by the cast of the respondents.

This crag was called Central Park. I'm not sure that the climb itself was in the guide. It was short and the soft side of 5.8, and so a far cry from the routes on Midnight Rock.

w.r.t. Midnight Rock
Not long after I moved to Seattle, I did Beckey&Hornbein's Wild Traverse up on Midnight Rock. What a cool climb! From the start, one gets really good views of the awesome looking OW climbs Black Widow and Easter Overhang *. At the time I still fancied myself a better than decent offwidth climber, and I really really wanted to get back up there to try those two with the new-to-me wide cams.
Unfortunately or not, steady work, work-stress as well as too much time at the College Inn wreaked havoc with my fitness, and I never got back up to Black Widow and Easter Overhang.

Here's a link to a Cascade climbers photo by "olyclimber" of both Black Widow and Easter Overhang, check out the page at:

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 21, 2015 - 12:13pm PT
I'm envious, Darwin, but I have a strong likelihood of making it to the Valley on Saturday. Thanks for the posts and pictures.

The Predictor

Social climber
Leavenworth, WA
Apr 21, 2015 - 12:25pm PT
Mr Darwin,
It seems that little crack you did was just put up about a month ago.
Slit 5.8

here is an older topo. Slit would be off to the left.

Glad you liked it even tho it is kind of awkward and short
the goat

north central WA
Apr 21, 2015 - 02:23pm PT
I've done Easter Overhang three times in my life, the first time was the hardest. Might have been the Robbins boots and 3" bongs that gave me trouble.

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 26, 2015 - 08:16pm PT
^ I'm in envious awe that you did that three times.

Sat April 25.
Given the mention of Midnight Rock: I feel compelled to mention: look you all, the best thing one could say about my climbing is that I really love doing it, and relative to my very modest abality, I'm not a bad leader. Really after winter up here we start at 5.6 or 5.7, or on something like last week I can just tell I can lead. At this point in the season, I doubt there is a climb on Midnight that I could lead.

This week was less sunny and did considerably headier climbs. Excuse the bit depth in the photos. I forgot my camera and fell back to the world's cheapest "smart phone" camera.

The drive up over Steven's Pass had us a little worried about conditions, but those of you have climbed on the east side of the Cascades have time and time again driven through pouring rain between Skykomish and Steven's Pass only to have to apply sun screen in Icicle Canyon.

Recently Mark and I have shared a progression through the climbing season: my lead head is better early on and we stick to slabs, even if run-out. By the end of the season I'm taking tension on steeper cracks that Mark lead. We're still in the slabs season, so we went to a new-for-us area: DUESL(DeepUndergroudScienceLab, no shit) Dome, with a (in keeping with the subject) stop at the humble The Geode.

Here's mark on neat looking but short gem on the Geode.

Always nice views from the upper north side of upper Icicle Canyon.


I might extract a frame from a movie (mp4) of Mark following the roof on a mostly slabby and mostly pretty ef'n run-out "5.7" Neutrino Bambino on DUESL . It's not quite as 5.7 as that last stemming pitch on the Yawn, but it had all too much lichen on it. We then top roped a 5.9 to the right of that with even more lichen. I had a really hard time with that, but eventually did get it clean.

the extracted first frame:


Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Apr 30, 2015 - 06:10pm PT
Hooray, Darwin!

Glad to hear you got out on the Leavenworth rock.
Dave Davis

Social climber
Seattle, WA
May 1, 2015 - 10:21pm PT
Easter is more hands and fist than ow. Where it gets wide there's a nice flake to grab inside. Anyway I think the rating in the current guide might scare people off a great and fairly moderate climb. Black Widow on the other hand is significantly harder and always gave me fits. Can't believe they get the same rating...
Loved Midnight, but clearly out of my league at this point of my life. Learned to climb in Leavenworth BITD and still enjoy going there when possible.

Social climber
May 2, 2015 - 02:19am PT
hey there say, Darwin...

wow, what a great trip share, thank you so much for thinking of us all...

aww, cute kitty, too...

and, wow, the snow road... glad you were safe, driving through all that...
loved all the photos...

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - May 3, 2015 - 09:07am PT
Thanks for all the feedback. We stayed on the West Side and pushed the grades (NOT ;-) at Index. Boy it's nice not having to do the long drive home from Leavenworth. Corner Flash 5.7 and first pitch of Even Steven provide pretty good early season fist & hand crack practice for us at least. We'll probably search Leavenworth for more lower angle obscurities for our next local trip, though.


Trad climber
Leavenworth WA
May 3, 2015 - 09:38am PT
Hey Darwin
If Midnight Rock is still on your radar, I would recommend Flame linked to Apron. It ends up being three or four pitches of moderate climbing, with great views.

A long way from where I started
May 3, 2015 - 10:04am PT
Darwin -- do you ever climb at Squamish? If you're looking for a place with boatloads of moderate climbing, Squamish is hard to beat. And not all that far from Seattle.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
May 3, 2015 - 10:54am PT
playing it as it lies is a golf expression but if applied to climbing; whats is local and the shortest drive can be the better rock of choice, the best rock is the closest rock, as we get older.
Cheers and thanx for a fun ride . thanx for driving</;+D

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2015 - 06:20pm PT
Then again, there is real climbing:

from the


Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2015 - 06:35pm PT
Midnight Rock is on the list for the end of the season after I get in shape and thanks for the pointer to the Flame/Apron link. My climbing partner has never been up there! I would love to go to Squamish again, but the boarder crossing and drive through Surrey makes me want to only do it when I have a little more time.

'''Accruing a carbon debt tangent''' ( but really I have cycled to work pretty much every day rain or shine over the last 22 years)

I like the "Play It As It Lies" reference, but last week I left warm and sunny Washington just in time for a short birthday/family visit to CA during/after the biggest snow storm of the year down there (in effing May! for F sake). Nonetheless, I had a really nice trip with good friends to the Eastside(Benton) and Lover's Leap and got a few pitches in. Coming down from Washington, the Sierra Nevada are such a trip w.r.t altitude.

Snowy Eastside May 10,2015

Adlai and Tony

Benton Crags

White Mountains(be still my heart)

Back to the regularly scheduled program:
Back in Washington last Saturday, I headed up for another trip to the DUSEL Dome area. It was a good day despite seeing two rattlers and me ending up with a tick embedded and going for my jugular. No sh#t, it was in my neck.

I'm tempted to claim that that Neutrino Bambino is the best moderate slab route anywhere, but I know that's wrong. It is pretty good for Leavenworth, though. It didn't feel nearly so heady leading it the second time. This would be a good route for those breaking into the 5.7 grade after only climbing in gyms. ;-) NOT! hehehe.

Bill was along as a third, so I was able to take some photos. We started up around the corner from DUSEL at Crowbar Crag. I saw a fair sized rattler (about 16") on the way up and we came across another baby one at the base of one of the climbs.

We thought this route, Horn of Plenty, was the best on this Crowbar Crag. Really nice route Viktor! We didn't do the more intimidating looking corner route to the right.

Baby rattler with no rattles yet!


Mark. Isn't there butt-shot thread?

moi, at the crag.

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